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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Still AL Rookie of the Year Favorite Despite Injury Setback

Vlad Guerrero Jr. batting
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays is still the AL Rookie of the Year favorite despite opening the season on the injured list. Photo by Tricia Hall (flickr) [CC License].
  • Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains the AL Rookie of the Year favorite
  • He is currently sidelined with a left oblique injury
  • The Blue Jays assigned Guerrero to their Minor League complex after he suffered his injury

The next step for the Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains shrouded in mystery.  Assigned to the Blue Jays’ minor-league camp in Dunedin, Florida on March 14th after straining an oblique muscle, he made his season debut with the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays last Thursday.

The Blue Jays have made no firm commitment as to when the 19-year-old might be promoted to the major leagues, but that hasn’t halted the hype. 5Dimes continues to list Guerrero as the favorite in its 2019 American League Rookie of the Year odds.

2019 AL Rookie of the Year Award Odds

Player 2019 AL Rookie of the Year Odds at 5Dimes
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +125
Eloy Jimenez +180
Yusei Kikuchi +450
Danny Jansen +2000
Jonathan Loaisiga +2000

*Odds taken 04/09/19. Click on the link in the table above for a complete list.

Guerrero put up .381/.437/.636 totals with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs across four levels of Toronto’s farm system in 2018. He was voted the Blue Jays’ Minor-League Player of the Year.

Are the Blue Jays Playing Games with Guerrero?

Even with his great numbers last season, the struggling Blue Jays opted not to reward Guerrero with a September call-up when Major League rosters expanded to 40 players. That move raised a few eyebrows and even caught the attention of the MLBPA.

By keeping him in the Minor Leagues, the Blue Jays are delaying his accumulation of service time at the MLB level and Guerrero’s ultimate eligibility to declare free agency.

In a rebuilding phase, might Toronto wait on Guerrero in order to keep him around longer once the Blue Jays are back to a scenario where they could once again be part of the playoff hunt?

Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro has insisted all along that Guerrero would be on the big league roster as soon as his health in 100 percent.

Like Father, Like Son?

Vladimir Guerrero Sr., like his son, started his career with a Canadian MLB team, debuting with the Montreal Expos in 1996. The elder Guerrero didn’t win the Rookie of the Year Award, but it was one of the few honors that eluded him.

He was named American League MVP in 2004 with the Anaheim Angels and retired as the all-time MLB hit leader among players from the Dominican Republic. Guerrero Sr. was induced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.

Can Anyone Slay Vlad?

Even if he is a late arrival to Toronto, it would appear that the AL ROY is Guerrero’s to win. The other top candidates for the award are off to slow starts.

Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiminez is batting below .200. Seattle Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi has yet to record a decision in three starts and owns a 4.02 ERA.

Guerrero can afford to bide his time, but you shouldn’t. Bet him now, while you can still get a decent price.

Pick: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+125)

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